With grad ceremonies only a semester away, upcoming graduates are getting ready to gear up for the workplace. On one hand, there will be a group of new grads certain of their immediate futures, while some others will be a little unsure of which paths to follow. If you want to explore your career choices, a program like the Rogers New Grad Leadership Development Rotational Program allows young professionals to get a taste of various career options within the company. This program provides new grads the opportunity to explore careers in nine different business units including Media, IT, Corporate Strategy and HR.
“Being able to work on different teams all within one year gives you a snapshot of different technologies and products, how they work, and the people you’d be working with,” says Stephanie Iossifidis, a recent Ryerson University computer engineering grad, and currently in her third rotation working as a network engineering associate. She explains that within this program she has the opportunity to try various career paths she is most passionate about, versus transitioning directly into a permanent position like some of her fellow classmates.
Stephanie had the benefit of engaging herself in different technical areas at Rogers, such as Data Platforms, High Speed Internet, Planning and Support, and Service Delivery Environment.
Her responsibilities vary day-to-day, but during the transitional period from one rotation to the next her workdays can be quite interesting, balancing between job shadowing, learning new responsibilities, and reading material in her downtime. Throughout the rotations, Stephanie also keeps notes of tasks she’s completed in preparation for the end-of-rotation presentations that each new grad participates in.
“You present what you’ve learned and worked on to the program champions, your coworkers, and even managers, directors, and VPs,” she says. “The feedback from each presentation helps you grow and improve for the next one.”
In addition to her day-to-day work, Stephanie has had the opportunity to experience other roles at Rogers. “I’ve had the chance to do several Walk-a-Miles,” she says, defining it as a Rogers initiative that encourages its employees to explore departments outside their own. “Since I was working on a project for Smart Home Monitoring, I took the opportunity to do a ride along with a service technician who installs Smart Home Monitoring in customer homes. This gave me the chance to see the system in action and to see the project from a different angle.”
New grads not only test different areas of the business as they move through each rotation, they actively partner with their managers, mentors and coaches to continually create and monitor professional goals. “I think this is a great way to keep track of progress and to see if I really am growing within the company.”
On top of the rotations, new grads also take part in a year-long project in an effort to foster career development at Rogers. “We’re given a problem and it’s up to us, as a team of new grads, to propose and implement a solution,” Stephanie explains. “This really gives us the chance to learn leadership and managing skills because we have to set up all the meetings, reach out to different teams within the company, and set deadlines and milestones.”
Offering advice to fellow grads, Stephanie urges students to continue to network, and encourages students to look beyond the job posting and focus on workplace culture and values instead. “You need to think about what you bring to the company and why you are the right person for the job,” she says. “It’s also important to go to those career fairs and build a rapport with the recruiters.”
Once her time in the rotational program is complete, Stephanie hopes to work on the wireless side of Rogers. “I enjoy the technology and design aspect of engineering, and I’m particularly interested in wireless technology, so that’s where I’m hoping to end up.”